Christmas pageant costumes

Greetings! I just realized yesterday that my last post was almost a month ago. I’ve been so busy, in a wonderful and fulfilling way.

I’m so happy in my new church home, and I’ve looked for ways to serve and get involved. In early November, the call for sewists went out – the Christmas pageant costumes were in need of ‘revitalization’ and/or replacement. I went over and, to my surprise, came home with the animals! Talk about a challenge – 3 sheep, 3 cows, and 3 donkeys for the little 3-5 year olds. I haven’t attempted costumes since my own children were that age, long ago. And my only animal was a bunny…

Thank goodness for Pinterest, which opened a world of examples. I chose my models:

And I found two great patterns for the costume basics:

Each costume has a top from S2068 and a hood from S2855, with embellishments. For the bottoms I used True Bias Mini Hudsons. I chose these because the cuffs are easily turned to accommodate our shorter grazers.

Fabric, XXXL Gilden T-shirts, JoAnn
Fabric: Cotton interlock, JoAnn
Fabric, Blizzard fleece, JoAnn

These 9 costumes took me much longer to sew than I anticipated, but I’m really pleased with the results, and I’m excited to see the little ones in the pageant. Christmas Eve will have additional meaning to me, and I’m grateful.

Bye for now – Coco

Butterick 5533 leopard spot fleece jacket

Our temperature dropped into the 50’s Saturday night, which, in Florida, means fleece jacket gratification!

I made this leopard version of B5533 last spring, and I’ve waited until now to wear it 🙂 It’s simply one of my favorite jacket patterns (marigold fleece version here).

Photographs of the details are difficult in this print, but I’ll give it a try.

  • The jacket is a combination of view A (front and collar) and View B (back and pockets).
  • I drafted a front yoke to add topstitching interest and to break up the visual length of the fabric. This is fleece – no way will I try buttonholes in fleece. For closure, I used #4 snaps with buttons on the outside right front.
  • My collar points are rounded, which IMHO adds a softer and more elegant aspect around the face.
  • The view B back is so pretty, I love the deeply curved inset.
Yoke lining in calico

I also made some small fitting adjustments, described in my marigold post.

Love it! Today I’m waiting for house painters to arrive, the next big step for the house. I just had a call from Lowes to advise me that my refrigerator, promised for tomorrow, is delayed until the end of November (mine has a leaky drip pan). That’s OK, I’m so happy here in my new pad.

Ciao! Coco

Simplicity 8742 Lined jacket

Now that I’m getting settled in to my new home, here’s a jacket I made while I was renting an apartment and house hunting. I wore it to church this morning, and I got so many compliments! Rather timely, because my church is looking for someone to repair/remake costumes for the Christmas pageant. Perfect, because I’ve been looking for a way to contribute to my new church home.

Anyway, I do really like this pattern. It has so much potential! And I really enjoy short jackets over pants and skirts.

I settled on the view D with the mandarin collar, and I sewed it in 2 fabrics from JoAnn. The outside is a metallic Asian print, and the inside is a linen/cotton blend. Well, I cannot find either one of them on the JoAnn site 🙂

Inside out:

I did make a few changes, using the pattern pieces. I used the interfacing piece to make my front facing in the main fabric, and I redrafted the front lining for this change.

Just a couple sewing notes:

  • I sewed the size small (5’8″, 34″ bust).
  • I also added 2″ to the sleeves, they are a bit short. On sleeves, I aim at 25″ from the shoulder seam, which always gives me enough length to fit/adjust as needed.
  • My front edges are rounded, using my makeup mirror as a guideline!

With so much supportive feedback, I’ll wear this again. Curious – do you ever hesitate to wear a newly made garment? I sure do 🙂

Ciao! Coco

Now the fun part – new home

Now that I’m all moved in, here are some random pics of the neighborhood, and my house now and future. I’m in College Park, a small (pop. 12,000) mainstreet neighborhood in northwest Orlando. Most of the homes here were built in the early 1900’s, mine in 1947, and the majority are bungalows, with a smattering of newer homes and lots of renovations. It’s a dense neighborhood with narrow streets, a heavy tree canopy, and an abundance of tropical botanicals. It’s also very happy, with kids on bikes, courteous and friendly neighbors, and a warm feeling of community. It has 6 churches and 3 public schools (elementary, middle, and high school), 2 pharmacies, and a mid-century Publix market built in Publix’ signature deco style. The main street is 2 lanes, lined with pubs, restaurants, boutiques, a post office, a barbershop, and a couple bicycle shops. People walk here and sit outside with coffee and their pups.

Brugmansia spp., aka Angel’s Trumpet. Not for children or pets…

I saw my house the second and third day I was in Orlando, and I made an offer one day later. Property moves very quickly here, so I was fortunate with the timing and availability of the house. I admit I gulped at first – awful colors and no landscaping except a ton of grass. But I’m so glad I looked beyond the surface. It has been fully renovated inside, has new fencing, a 5-zone irrigation system, new double-pane e-vinyl windows, and, thankfully, no sliding glass doors!

Yesterday I met with a painter, recommended by a neighbor. He’ll be painting everything on the outside and pressure cleaning the hardscape. Here’s my working version (the main color is Sherwin Williams Revel Blue):

Moving day in the rain
Red letter day – all the packing materials on the curb for a bulk pickup (that wore me out)
Roof garden in the gutter of the screen porch! Soon to be gone
Ok, I do have two trees 🙂

Bye for now! Coco

Tessuti Lisa modifacation – gathered hemline

I’m not hiding on purpose! but this is the only corner of my new yard that has anything botanicals at all! This winter and in the spring I’ll be on a mission to change that.

I am very used to spare soil and thin grass at my home in Weston. It was built on fill. Here, my grass is deep, luxuriant, and just beautiful. I also have a wonderful grounds keeper, who also tends my son’s house. I’ve gotten in touch with a nursery that has things like strawberry guava and gem magnolia trees.

Back to the dress! In my previous post, I despaired of insufficient yardage to put a ruffled hem on this dress. And I have more fabric coming. Meanwhile I did have enough yardage to do this delightful polka dot version in tencel chambray from Cali Fabrics.

It is so nice to wear and swan around the house! I used Lisa’s guidelines on her blog blog post to decide on the length of the skirt and depth of the ruffle.

Just a few sewing notes:

  • Sewing the dress is pretty staightforward. Now – that ruffle. Mine is about 1.6 x the bottom width of the skirt. Of course I halve and quarter the skirt and ruffle. But being impatient with slippery pins, I also baste the two pieces together at the half/quarter points. This way I am not kerflunked by the fabric moving around.
  • After sewing the pieces, I do a neaten job with my serger.

This is a house dress, comfortable but with a little fun.

Ciao! Coco